Most of the time, enduring intense public humiliation or even bodily harm would be preferable to dealing with insurance companies. (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration). But insurance companies can be a pain to deal with.
And if you’ve experienced the clogged, bureaucratic nightmare that is getting medical expenses covered, you might have faced some real-life ridiculous situations like these:
1. “They said, ‘We’ll cover the CT scan but not the films or the doctor who read the films.’ …What?” —
2. “My son has Down syndrome. I was asked by a customer service representative if his condition was permanent…” —
3. “One of the worst and funniest [calls] was when they told me my son was on a Navy ship, and that’s where they sent his medication. Even after proving to them he was 6 years old, they argued with me for almost 40 minutes. I finally gave up and went back to the doctor for a new prescription.” —
4. “I’m in the ongoing appeals process to get speech therapy services covered for my son. My favorite reply is: ‘Please demonstrate medical necessity.’ My favorite answer answer is: ‘He doesn’t talk.’” —
5. “I was told that my 5-year-old is ‘too young’ to have anxiety.” —
6. “Insurance rep: ‘You have to pay for the sedation for your daughter’s dental surgery out of pocket because there are lower cost alternatives.’ Me: ‘Oh, like what?’ Insurance rep: ‘Restraints.’ We paid the $1,000.” —
7. “The ‘best’ thing I’ve been told by an insurance company is that I, the sole legal and custodial parent of my 5-year-old, am not authorized to access his health information because he has not designated me as his representative.” —
8. “An insurance company tried to deny coverage for my son’s open heart surgery he had at 10 weeks old. They tried to claim it as a pre-existing condition because he’d only been added to the policy 10 weeks ago, on November 12, 2008 — that was his date of birth…” —
9. “They asked if my daughters disease ‘was going to be an ongoing thing.'” —
10. “The insurance company couldn’t grasp the concept of twins. They would process the first claim they’d get, then deny the second as already paid. We would call and say, yet again, two claims for two babies born on the same day. ‘Oh, twins! I’ll note it on your file.’ Nope, they never noted that…” —
11. “‘What is autism?’ *head hits desk*” —
12. “‘Is there any possible way your manager can contact their manager?’ ‘No, ma’am, you will need to fax it.’ ‘Are you saying they can’t email or call?’ ‘No, but you can send a fax to us requesting that we send a fax to them to ask them to call us. Or they can answer by fax.’ —
13. “After several rounds of phone calls to have a feeding chair with supports approved I asked for a letter in writing. The letter stated the chair wasn’t necessary and there was no reason why my son couldn’t eat on the floor or somewhere else. The chair was requested because my son could not sit up on his own and often choked. I eventually won that battle, but I’m still mad about the response.” —
14. “Being told my heart condition — atrial flutter — was ‘Ariel’ flutter. Yes, you moron, I have to go for heart surgery and you’re thinking of the little mermaid. Good for a laugh now, I guess, but wasn’t so funny when I didn’t get paid for four months!” —
15. “I was speechless when my husband’s insurance company covered my son’s wheelchair, minus the wheels. We were billed for the wheels as they were considered ‘an accessory.'” —
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